VISIT TO THE "BARRIO POBRE OF SANTA CECILIA"
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Tuesday, 30 January 1979
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
I keenly desired this meeting, inhabitants of the district of Santa Cecilia, because I feel solidarity with you and because, being poor, you are entitled to my particular concern.
I tell you the reason at once: the Pope loves you because you are God's favourites. He himself, on founding his family, the Church, kept poor and needy humanity in mind. To redeem it, he sent precisely his Son, who was born poor and lived among the poor in order to make us rich with his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8:9).
As a consequence of this redemption. carried out in him who became one of us, we are now no longer poor servants, we are sons, who can call God "Father" (cf. Gal 4:4-6). We are no longer abandoned, since, if we are sons of God, we are also heirs to the goods he offers abundantly to those who love him (Mt 11:28). Could we doubt that a father gives good things to his children? (cf. Mt 7:7 ff.). Jesus himself, our Saviour, waits for us in order to relieve us when we are weary (cf. Mt 11:28). At the same time, he counts on our personal collaboration to make us more and more worthy, being the architects of our own human and moral elevation.
At the same time, faced with your overwhelming situation, I call with all my strength on those who have means and who feel they are Christians, to renew their minds and their hearts in order that, promoting greater justice and even giving something of their own, no one will lack proper food, clothing, housing, culture and work; all that gives dignity to the human person. The image of Christ on the Cross, the price of the redemption of humanity, is a pressing appeal to spend our lives in putting ourselves in the service of the needy, in harmony with charity, which is generous and which does not sympathize with injustice, but with truth (cf. 1 Cor 13:2 ff.).
I bless you all, asking the Lord always to illuminate your hearts and your actions.
© Copyright 1979 Libreria Editrice Vaticana
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